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New Zealand General Information

Air travel

New Zealand's main international airports are Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.

Flight times from Eastern Australia to New Zealand are 3-3.5 hours and around a 10 hour flight from most places on the Pacific Rim, such as Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong or Tokyo. From the West Coast of the United States a direct flight to New Zealand is about 12 hours.

For those delegates travelling across multiple time zones we would recommend allowing a minimum of 4 days to get over the effects of jet lag. .

For those making airline bookings over the internet for travel to any airport within New Zealand the main carrier is Air New Zealand www.airnewzealand.co.nz. On some of the main routes Jetstar www.jetstar.com and Virgin Australia www.virginaustralia.com also operate flights. www.webjet.co.nz allows you to compare fares across the airlines on these routes.

Biosecurity

New Zealand has a national biosecurity system that is considered one of the most robust in the world. It should come as no surprise to veterinarians that it is critically important to us to protect our agricultural industries, which play a significant part in our national economy. Please refer to www.biosecurity.govt.nz for more information.

Car rental

All the major international car rental companies operate in New Zealand as well as quite a number of local ones.

Currency, banking and tax

New Zealand's unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). Coins have values of 10, 20 and 50 cents and $1 and $2. Notes have values of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought in or taken out of New Zealand. However, every person who carries more than NZ$10,000 in cash in or out of New Zealand is required to complete a Border Cash Report.

Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, New Zealand Post shops, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks, which are found at international airports and most city centres. All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand. Travellers Cheques are accepted at hotels, banks and some stores.

Banks are open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Automated Teller Machines (ATM's) are widely available at banks, along main shopping streets and in malls. International credit cards and ATM cards will work as long as they have a four-digit PIN encoded. Check with your bank before leaving home.

  • Exchange rates: Banks should be able to tell you what the current exchange rate is with the New Zealand dollar. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand provides a monthly online summary of the New Zealand Dollar's average value against the US Dollar, the Pound, the Australian Dollar, the Yen and the Euro. You can calculate the approximate value of about 30 currencies in New Zealand Dollars on the Bank of New Zealand website. The rate you are offered in your home country is likely to differ slightly.  View current foreign exchange rates.
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST): Goods and services sold in New Zealand are subject to a 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST). Retail suppliers are required to show the GST inclusive price on goods and services, and must clearly state if the tax is not included in the advertised price. GST cannot be claimed back on purchases when leaving New Zealand. However, depending on the retailer, some goods can be purchased on a GST exclusive basis at the point of purchase when they are freighted directly to your home overseas or where it can be demonstrated that the items are leaving the country. In the latter case the retailer is required to courier the items to the airport for you to collect on departure.
  • How Much Will It Cost? Here is a general guide of what you can expect to pay in New Zealand for a few common items:
      - A hotel breakfast NZ$10 - $25
      - Dinner (three course, no wine) NZ$20 - $50
      - Lunch snack/sandwich NZ$5 - $10
      - Cafe lunch NZ$10 - $15.00
      - A postcard stamp to anywhere abroad NZ$1.50
      - Big Mac Hamburger NZ$4.50
      - Cappuccino NZ$4 - $5.50
      - A stubby (330ml bottle) of beer - NZ$3 - $7

Climate 

Long, sunny days tend to linger long into New Zealand’s autumn, and with average high temperatures of between 18C and 25C, you’ll hardly notice summer has ‘officially’ ended. Nights begin to get chilly around mid-April.

Customs allowances and duty free shopping

Duty free purchases are possible on arrival or departure at New Zealand international airports and downtown in some of the major cities. On arrival into New Zealand each adult can bring in duty free:

  • Not more than 3 bottles of spirits (up to a maximum of 1125ml each)
  • 4.5 litres of Wine, port, Sherry, Champagne (six bottles) or beer (12 cans).
  • 200 cigarettes or 250gms of tobacco or 50 cigars 
  • NZ $700 of other goods purchased Duty Free or overseas.

Dress

Dress during the congress and social events is casual. Dress for the Congress Gala Dinner is formal.  A sunhat and glasses will be useful when attending social functions or tours during the day.

Drinking water

Water is safe to drink straight from the tap throughout New Zealand.

Driving in New Zealand

You can legally drive in New Zealand for up to 12 months if you have either a current driver's licence from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). In New Zealand all motorists drive on the left-hand side of the road. All road distances are measured in kilometres. The speed limit on the open road is 100 kilometres per hour (approx. 60 miles per hour). In urban areas the speed limit is 50 kilometres per hour. Drivers and passengers must wear seat belts at all times, in both front and rear seats. Driving while using handheld mobile phones is forbidden – the use of hands-free kits is permitted while driving.

Electricity

The New Zealand system uses a flat, angled two or three-point power plug depending on whether an earth connection is fitted, to connect to the power supply which is 230/240 volts, 50 Hz. You will require an adaptor/converter for other systems unless the item has a multi-voltage option. Most hotels and apartments provide 110 volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only.

Emergency

The emergency number for the Police/Ambulance/Fire service in New Zealand is 111.

Insurance, safety and medical advice

New Zealand is one of the safest holiday destinations in the world. However, you are advised to observe the same precautions with your personal safety and possessions as you would in any other country or at home. We recommend you invest in comprehensive travel insurance before departing.

  • Health and medical insurance: We strongly advise you to arrange your own health insurance. New Zealand's public and private medical/hospital facilities provide a high standard of treatment and service but it is important to note these services are not free to visitors, except as a result of an accident.  Visitors bringing in a quantity of medication are advised to carry a doctor's certificate to avoid possible problems with New Zealand Customs. Doctor's prescriptions are needed to obtain certain drugs in New Zealand.
  • Accident Compensation Scheme: Visitors to New Zealand are covered under the local Accident Compensation Scheme for personal injury by accident. Benefits include some medical and hospital expenses, but do not include loss of earnings outside New Zealand. We therefore recommend your travel insurance policy also covers accidents.

 

Internet

Internet cafes are readily available in most towns and cities in New Zealand. Most hotels have wireless internet available. Internet facilities will be available at the venue for the duration of the congress.

Laptops

You will need an RJ45 type plug to be able to connect your laptop into a computer socket in New Zealand, and an adaptor with a flat, angled two or three-point power plug (see Electricity above) to connect to the power supply.

Phones

Most public call phones take cards purchased from bookstalls and newsagents, with a minimum value of NZ$2. Some public call phones also accept credit cards, but very few accept coins. New Zealand phone numbers appear online in the White Pages (alphabetical listings) and Yellow Pages (business category listings).

Mobile phone coverage is widely available in New Zealand urban areas and main driving routes but can be limited or absent in some rural areas. Check with your phone company before leaving home about international mobile roam facilities available.

The international country code for New Zealand is 0064. The area code for Auckland is (0)9 - drop the 0 if dialling from overseas. For example to call Auckland 123 4567 from overseas dial 0064 9 123 4567.

 

 

Smoking in New Zealand

To protect people from the health effects of second-hand smoke, smoking in all hospitality and public venues, including bars, restaurants, cafes, and casinos, is prohibited in New Zealand. If you smoke, please remember to smoke outside in the designated smoking areas.

Special requirements

Every effort will be made to ensure delegates with special needs are catered for. Should you require any specific assistance, or catering please provide details on your registration form.

Time zone

New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see the new day, 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

Tipping and service charges

New Zealanders do not expect tips for normal service - even in restaurants and bars. However, tipping for extra special service is at the discretion of the visitor. Hotels and restaurants do not add service charges to their bills. Surcharges may apply in restaurants and bars on public holidays.

 

Transport

There are a variety of ways to get from the Auckland International Airport to the city centre.  A taxi fare can cost you between $70-$120 depending on the traffic or you can take the SkyBus outside the terminal.

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are required to enter New Zealand.

Visa information

All visitors to New Zealand must have a valid passport for at least three months beyond their intended stay in New Zealand. Citizens of some countries must obtain a Visitor's Visa. Visa information and the visa application form are available on the immigration website. If you require a Visitor's Visa, please allow at least 5 - 6 weeks for processing.

If you are a citizen of a country which has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand, you do not need to apply for a visa to visit New Zealand but you must:

  • Hold a valid ticket from New Zealand to a country where you have the right of entry.
  • Have sufficient money to support yourself during your stay in New Zealand.
  • Hold a passport valid for 3 months beyond the date you intend leaving New Zealand.
  • Remain in New Zealand only for the time granted on your arrival.

Please note that if you have a stopover (even in transit) in Australia, you may need an Australian visa. Please check this on the Australian Immigration Service website www.immi.gov.au.